Hundreds of ticket holders were disappointed last January when they were turned away from the inauguration of President Obama. A report released Friday by a congressional committee blamed the inaugural mishaps on a lack of planning and miscommunication.

At the time, many ticket holders complained that they could not see the swearing-in ceremony, and were held up by security checkpoints and problems with crowd.

A new report by multiple agencies for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies outlines several of the problems that occurred with the security and planning.

“All participants in the planning and execution of the 56th presidential inauguration realize how important attendance at this monumental event was to so many people. In order to witness this historic event, many people traveled from all across the country, endured financial difficulties and waited in long lines in very cold weather to observe the orderly transfer of power of the United States government,” the report states. “All planners and involved law enforcement personnel regret that so many of these travelers were unable to view the swearing-in ceremony. This committee has attempted to analyze the 56th presidential inauguration security plan, identify the deficiencies that caused so many people to be denied access to the event and make recommendations for the future.”

The report cites problems of communication and coordination, space, crowd management and security screenings.

It also states that the unprecedented size and enthusiasm of this inauguration, reaching nearly 1.8 million people in attendance, is partly responsible for the problems.

“It cannot go unsaid that the unprecedented dimensions of this event compelled veteran successful planners to craft solutions to potential issues with which no one had any historical experience in terms of scope or scale; that is to say that the benchmarks for planning were based on the best abilities of planners to forecast future eventualities multiplied by an unknown factor based on past experience, which must be acknowledged as an inexact science,” the report states.

Nevertheless, the report details recommendations to improve the next inauguration. Among these are a clearer planning procedure, better coordination between the Secret Service and the Capitol Police, better communication between the various committees and the creation of a Web site that would show the most up-to-date information regarding the inauguration festivities. Further recommendations include listing a toll-free number on each ticket that ticket holders can call to find out the latest information concerning checkpoints and directions, printing tickets later to ensure that they are accurate, measuring crowd capacity using the standard of five square feet per person and creating a Crowd Management Subcommittee to better handle those concerns.

The report also makes more detailed recommendations regarding crowd management, pre-screening and fencing. It listed the Third Street tunnel and crossover as well as the Multi-Agency Communications Center as the areas of greatest concern.

Bearing in mind these problems and recommendations, the report says the agencies involved hope that the next inauguration will be even more successful.

“It is the hope that all future security planners will benefit from this report and will be better able to effectively meet the many challenges, old and new, that will emerge during the next presidential inauguration in 2013,” the report states.

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